Over the course of the history of Vancouver Whitecaps FC, a number of players who have played for the club at one point or another have also represented their country at the FIFA World Cup. As we approach the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, we will feature players of years’ past who made it to soccer’s pinnacle event.
Martino “Tino” Lettieri was worn in Bari, Italy, but raised in Canada. He was a goalkeeper with a unique personality, known for keeping a stuffed parrot in the back of his net. His professional soccer career spanned 10 seasons. Beginning in 1977 with Minnesota Kicks and ending in 1987 with the Hamilton Steelers, Lettieri appeared in 309 professional matches.
Lettieri joined the Vancouver Whitecaps to begin the 1982 NASL season. Over the course of his two seasons in Vancouver, Lettieri made 55 appearances for the club, and in 1983 was named the NASL’s North American Player of the Year.
Lettieri played for the Canadian men’s national team from 1983 to 1986. He earned 24 appearances for Canada, including starting two of the three matches – against Hungary and the Soviet Union – at the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico.
FUN FACT: Tino's son Vinni signed with the NHL’s New York Rangers in 2017.